Text Box: Citius, Altius, Ulterius -- The Technical Integration Specialists

CAU Pegasus Systems Integration Group, LLC

Frequently asked Questions

To contact us:

Phone: 281.891.3626

Fax: 281.670.7991

E-mail: info@SysEngGroup.com

Last update: October 12, 2011         

 

©2011 CAU Pegasus Systems Integration Group, LLC

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. What services does CAU Pegasus typically provide?

  2. What is Pegasus's status as a small business?

  3. What is the process for getting started?

  4. How do I contact Pegasus?

  5. What is your process for defining the Pegasus engagement?

  6. How long and extensive is a typical engagement?

  7. What is a typical hourly rate for services?

  8. How are Pegasus consultants treated for federal tax purposes?

  9. Do Pegasus consultants take up “residence” in my facility?

  10. Will my consultant team be working on efforts for other customers simultaneously with working on mine?

  11. How do you scope the engagement in terms of effort, time, and cost?

  12. What is your billing process?

  13. What about travel?

  14. What happens if I'm not happy with your work?

  15. What are the advantages of working with Pegasus versus going it alone with internal personnel and skills?

  16. Can you provide training to my current personnel?

  17. How do you address my privacy and intellectual property rights, issues, and concerns?

  18. Will I find you competing against me in a future effort?

  19. What sort of governing agreements might be entailed in structuring an engagement?

  20. What sorts of tools do you use?

  21. Will you provide my organization with these tools for our subsequent use?

  22. What is your bid and proposal development experience?

  23. Tell me about your systems/technical integration background.

  24. Where are you located?



  1. What services does CAU Pegasus typically provide?

Pegasus provides key skills, expertise, and advice to address specific short-term technical and managerial needs that arise in your business. We are technical integration specialists with vast experience in all facets of the Systems Engineering & Integration (SE&I) discipline. We can lead an effort to capture, define, assess, and provide traceability for system/product performance requirements and will develop a comprehensive Master Verification Plan (MVP) for your requirements. Pegasus can develop a complete Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for a planned product or system.

We provide “fresh eyes” reviews of various phases of your product design processes as well as bid & proposal efforts.

Project management is another cornerstone competency for us. We develop project plans and resource-loaded implementation schedules and budgets and track successful execution of the plans. We can train your personnel in these skills and techniques.

Pegasus can step in and quickly implement a comprehensive risk management and mitigation plan using tools that are appropriate to your needs.

We can assess your current business and technical processes with an eye towards cycle time and cost reduction and quality improvement based on Lean Six-Sigma methods and related techniques.

Pegasus assesses technologies and development efforts in accordance with the NASA standard Technology Readiness Level (TRL) criteria and will develop a technology maturation and test and verification planning suite for you. We can provide guidance and advice in putting technology providers and consumers together as well as in forming industry-government-academia partnerships.

We provide discipline-specific services in diverse technical domains including process control and automation; power generation, distribution, and control, guidance, navigation, & control (GN&C); displays and controls and human-machine interface design and evaluation; occupational safety; biomedical; information technology; disaster planning; and pyrotechnic devices and technologies.


  1. What is Pegasus's status as a small business?

Pegasus is a women- and veteran-owned and operated small business. We are currently pursuing Small Business Administration (SBA) 8a status for eligibility for Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) set-asides.

 

  1. What is the process for getting started?

Give some thought to what sort of help you might need and give us a call or send us an email at “info@SysEngGroup.com”. We'll be glad to help you define your needs and requirements (which is what we do for a living!) and establish a tentative scope of effort and an approach to achieving your objectives.

 

  1. How do I contact Pegasus?

We can be reached via email at “info@SysEngGroup.com” or by telephone at (281) 891.3626. Either way, expect a response within one business day.

 

  1. What is your process for defining the Pegasus engagement?

We define the engagement and develop the contract in the course of creating a project plan. This plan addresses what you need us to do, what the final outcomes and deliverables are, your conditions of satisfaction, the overall resource-loaded schedule, and the budgetary estimate. We identify internal (to your organization) and external dependencies for data and other deliverable items essential to our task. We identify principal risks and a management and mitigation approach.

We start with an informal interview with you to define first generally, and then with appropriate specificity, the tasks you wish us to perform and the outcomes you expect. We rely on lessons learned from previous similar assignments to make sure we're asking you the right questions.

 

  1. How long and extensive is a typical engagement?

This brings to mind Abraham Lincoln's response when asked how long a man's legs should be: “Long enough to reach the ground.” The length and complexity of an engagement is driven by the project to be completed and the end products you need delivered. In every case, even very involved and long-term projects consist of smaller and more focused sub-segments. We'll identify these and set reasonable progress milestones so you always have a useful “how goes it” snapshot of our mutual progress.

Our typical engagement is relatively focused on a specific problem and goal: i.e., develop a proposal, perform a competitive assessment, determine a technology readiness level and corresponding maturation plan, conduct a red team review, preside over a design review, develop a requirements traceability and master verification plan, etc. The shortest engagement I've seen was wrapped up in two and a half days (and yes, it was completely successful!), others occupy weeks or months. Many of our tasks are accomplished by a single associate, others may entail the effort of a team of 3-5 associates.

 

  1. What is a typical hourly rate for services?

The composite hourly rate varies based on the complexity of the task assigned us. All of our associates have been selected to provide value that you can recognize for every hour they spend on the engagement. Our rates are competitive within the industry.

 

  1. How are Pegasus consultants treated for federal tax purposes?

Pegasus-provided technical support is provided on a negotiated time and materials basis. Our overarching imperative is to deliver what you want (success) with no surprises or undue complications. You are buying a defined service from us. Our consultants and associates are employees of Pegasus Systems Engineering Group, LLC.

In guidance the IRS has issued and on its website, they ask a simple and specific question: Does your company control what the worker supplied by Pegasus does and do you dictate how the worker does the job? In this case, the answer is that Pegasus performs this role. We will set the worker's hours and will require that work be performed in a specific manner at a stated location. We closely supervise our employees, obviating the need for you to spend effort doing so.

We are very cognizant of the need to avoid issues of co-employment, especially for longer-term engagements, and we know what is required to do so. We will work with you to identify and proactively mitigate any issues related to co-employment.

 

  1. Do Pegasus consultants take up “residence” in my facility?

Our personnel will likely expend significant effort working closely with your team. This will very likely entail spending time at your facility. If the nature of the work makes it advantageous, our employees can work from our offices or telecommute. We'll do whatever makes the most sense for your business and whatever enhances your success. And we'll make sure that you know and agree every step along the way.

  1. Will my consultant team be working on efforts for other customers simultaneously with working on mine?

Being good Texans, we adhere to the admonition, “Dance with who brung ya.” We typically expect to work for one client at a time.

 

  1. How do you scope the engagement in terms of effort, time, and cost?

Your engagement is shaped and scoped based on your needs and where you are with the current effort.

We start with an informal interview with you to define first generally, and then with appropriate specificity, the tasks you wish us to perform and the outcomes you expect. We rely on lessons learned from previous similar assignments to make sure we're asking you the right questions.

See the responses to questions 5 and 6 for more information.

 

  1. What is your billing process?

The technical activity reporting, financial accounting, and billing procedures will be negotiated as part of the engagement contract we enter into. Typically, we expect to provide weekly reports of activities, progress, and hours expended per associate to you. We use an electronic time accounting system for this purpose. Our normal terms for payment are standard Net 30.

 

  1. What about travel?

We will estimate travel requirements at the time of developing the engagement contract. Our associates will travel on your behalf to accomplish the work. All such travel will be pre-coordinated and approved by you. We will report all standard reasonable and allowable travel expenses to you within a week after they are incurred. We make all travel arrangements through Pegasus.

 

  1. What happens if I'm not happy with your work?

If you've got reason to be less than 100% per cent satisfied with Pegasus's work, you'll probably hear about it from us first. In order to maintain the relationship and client satisfaction that is so critical to our continued success, we take pains to gather client feedback on our performance at every level of your organization. If we determine there is a performance issue, or learn of one from you, we will act quickly to resolve it. If the issue is we have the wrong person assigned to a task, we'll bring on the right person. We view every industry and sector we work in as a “small town”; we strive to maintain our reputation as a trusted and reliable partner and team member. When you need help in the future, Pegasus will be the first name you think of calling.

 

  1. What are the advantages of working with Pegasus versus going it alone with internal personnel and skills?

The advantages are timely response to market opportunities characterized by windows that open and close very quickly. Using Pegasus as a “force multiplier” for your enterprise is a smart and cost-effective decision. If you need a skill but don't have it internally, you can hope for the best, but that is likely to be a penny-wise/pound-foolish choice. With Pegasus, you can buy the help you need “by the yard”, and when you don't need our help any more, it doesn't cost you any more. Contrast that with the risk and cost of making a poor hiring choice because the market was pressuring you. On the business battlefield, it's critical to be first with the most. Pegasus can do that for you.

 

  1. Can you provide training to my current personnel?

Yes we can and do provide training. In some engagements, the end deliverable is in fact, training. We can also provide specific “train the trainer” sessions and supporting materials to let you cultivate an internal and organic ability for on-going training. In other engagements, training may be more peripheral, such as for any tools that we introduce that you will be using on an on-gong basis. In this case, we will address the training and knowledge capture requirements in our project plan.

 

  1. How do you address my privacy and intellectual property rights, issues, and concerns?

Pegasus has an established approach to ensuring that your privacy and data rights are protected. Since our business is based on repeat engagements with satisfied clients, we take this very seriously and are committed to transparency and ethical behavior in all our dealings. Please see questions 18 and 19 below for some details.

 

  1. Will I find you competing against me in a future effort?

While not likely, such a situation is possible in certain industries and sectors. In the event such a scenario comes to pass, you can be assured that your interests and proprietary data rights are protected by non-disclosure agreements and Pegasus's comprehensive Organizational Conflict of Interest (OCI) management plan. As a relationship-based company, whomever we compete with knows we do so fairly and ethically.

 

  1. What sort of governing agreements might be entailed in structuring an engagement?

We will ensure that our disclosure statement is in harmony with yours in terms of how reasonable and proper reimbursable and allowable expenses are defined. Our contract will define what we will do, what the schedule and cost is predicted to be, and what deliverables and other products you will get from us in the course of our work for you. As needed, we can implement a specific OCI plan and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to suit your needs and clarify how your intellectual property (IP) interests are protected. If the work we are doing for you entails interaction and collaboration with other contractor organizations and their personnel, we can draft an Associate Contractor Agreement (ACA) to define the expectations for this relationship and make your management burden and performance risk smaller.

  1. What sorts of tools do you use?

To the greatest extent practical in order to meet your needs, we will use tools that are common in the industry and familiar to your organization. In some cases such as risk management or requirements definition, assessment, and tracking, you may be bringing us aboard specifically for our expertise in software tools like IRMA (Integrated Risk Management Application), CRADLE or DOORS. If you need warrants the use of such tools, we'll help you obtain, install, configure, and use them. In many cases, especially on more focused and smaller scale projects, we can show you how to get the desired functionality you need with a simpler and more easily manageable (in terms of learning curve and long term costs of ownership) solution such as a flat file database or Microsoft Excel.

Bottom line is we will help you to decide on what the right tools are for the job without overkill.

 

  1. Will you provide my organization with these tools for our subsequent use?

We'll work with you at the start to define all arrangements and agreements pertaining to tools, documentation, and other artifacts we'll leave with you for your continued use after the engagement. We also ensure that you receive a thorough accounting of the tools and resources you've purchased so you'll know what you own at engagement's end.

 

  1. What is your bid and proposal development experience?

Our experience is extensive in large federal government procurements and capital commercial projects. We've performed every proposal related task from contributing author to proposal development leader. On the other side of things, we've evaluated proposals in support of source selection boards. Pegasus is skilled in competitive assessments and positioning strategies and developing and justifying make-or-buy decisions. We can develop justifications for other than full and open competition (JOFOCs) that will withstand a procurement system audit.

Pegasus will help your organization in all aspects of research grant proposal creation and review, can write your winning small disadvantaged business participation plan, and can cover the full spectrum of Bid & Proposal tasks for government, commercial, and academic efforts. We are experienced with Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer program proposals and agreements.

 

  1. Tell me about your systems/technical integration background.

We are technical integration specialists with vast experience in all facets of the Systems Engineering & Integration (SE&I) discipline for U.S. Government and other large capital programs and projects. We can lead an effort to capture, define, assess, and provide traceability for system/product performance requirements and will develop a comprehensive Master Verification Plan (MVP) for your requirements.

Our experience has been that a lot of folks talk about the discipline and importance of SE&I, but at the end of the day, very little of the integration task is addressed efficiently. This is why our focus is on technical integration: of components into subsystems, subsystems, to systems, systems to elements, and then element to element. We ensure that functional and performance requirements are valid and that they are allocated appropriately and have a meaningful approach for verification. We assess technical risks across the program or project and ensure that margins and other risk mitigation measures are assigned properly to prevent a risk element from being ignored or being “double-booked”. Pegasus provides guidance on how your management reserve should be managed and allocated and can monitor how it is “burned down” as the effort matures.

We are experienced in the processes, tools, and procedures used for each phase of the classical SE&I life cycle from conceptual development to system retirement.

 

  1. Where are you located?

CAU Pegasus's home offices are in the Clear Lake City area of Houston, Texas. We are in close proximity to the NASA Johnson Space Center, the refining and energy corridor adjacent to the Houston Ship Channel, the Texas Medical Center, and Rice University and the University of Houston.